Family Engagement Ideas

In addition to the digital resources that are being shared with families, you might want to consider low-tech alternatives that encourage creativity, collaboration, and family connection. Take the challenge and commit to four (4) activities a day and enjoy your time together! 

Some important things to remember:

  1. Maintain a consistent routine (bedtime, get dressed every day, monitor/limit screen time).  
  2. Check-in devices before bedtime and charge them in a common area.
  3. Talk about what is happening with your children in age-appropriate ways.
  4. Roleplay with your child.
  5. Eat meals together without personal devices.
  6. Be sure to get outside and stay active.
  7. Keep in mind that learning can happen anywhere!

mathematics

Mathematics

 

  • Count objects.  Talk about what happens if you add objects or decrease objects.
  • Discuss any patterns that you might see in your home, in your yard or at the local park. 
  • Draw pictures of shapes with chalk or in the mud.
  • Talk about stories from Bedtime Math.
  • Make up stories that involve mathematical operations.  Ask your child to draw or represent the story with toys/drawings.
  • Talk about math in the bath.
  • Make and use flashcards (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction operations).
  • Sort laundry items by color, family members, or other. Sort things in the pantry by food group. Sort clothes in the closet by color. Think of other things you can sort together. 
  • Online resources from your school are available, such as: Imagine Math, Freckle, Think Central 
  • Pre-K through Early Elementary math games that can be played with a deck of cards.
  • Middle School and High school cognitively demanding tasks.
  • Use SAT Question of the Day app.
  • Connect College Board and Khan Academy accounts to get personalized practice for the PSAT/SAT
  • XtraMath Math Fact Fluency.

Literacy

Literacy

 

  • Read together (picture books, chapter books, magazines, anything print or digital). Talk about what you are reading.  Bonus points for reading outside!
  • Create cards and letters. Send to family members, friends, nursing homes, etc.
  • Turn off the lights and read with flashlights. 
  • Make a reading corner or blanket fort with couch cushions and blankets.
  • Pick a category (i.e. vegetables, music) and go back and forth to share items that fit into that category.
  • Play Taboo, Gestures, Scattergories, or Heads Up to build vocabulary 
  • Make up a story together. 
  • Tell your children stories about your own childhood.
  • Use magnetic or foam letters to build words.
  • Look through magazines and ads together and talk about what you see.
  • Cut pictures and words out of magazines and ads to make a story or poem.
  • Write letters or words in the sand, in the mud, or with sidewalk chalk.
  • Talk about how things are similar and different.
  • Act out familiar stories together. 
  • Have older siblings read to younger siblings, pets, stuffed animals, etc.
  • Teach someone how to do something new. Write a “How-to” story. Share your story with someone else in the house and have them follow the steps. 
  • Write! (Stories, books about topics you are interested in, recipes, journaling)
  • Write fan-fiction for a series that you like.
  • Play the Dictionary game and make up definitions for words and try to guess the correct definition. 
  • Make your own Podcast or Flipgrid
  • Use SAT Question of the Day app.
  • Connect to Hoopla, an ebook check-out through CADL
  • Connect College Board and Khan Academy accounts to get personalized practice for the PSAT/SAT
  • Visit ABCya.com and EPIC books online 
  • Use the Capital Area District Library online streaming services OR use the East Lansing Public Library online streaming services. 
  • REMC 13  includes many resources including digital books and resources (username: remc13, Password: learn13 Elementary/Middle School Resources and High School Resources.

Science/STEM

Science/STEM

  • Watch Curious Crew together and try some of the investigations and challenges.
  • Make a Rube Goldberg Chain Reaction.  
  • Make a paper marble run.
  • Challenge yourself to make a table that can hold 5 books but make it out only out of 5 sheets of newspaper and tape.
  • Make a system that launches a ping pong ball into a bucket.
  • Challenge yourself to make a tower out of 3x5 notecards that is at least 24 inches tall and can support a stuffed animal.
  • With an adult, take apart a broken appliance.
  • Make some bubble solution out of one cup of water, 1 tsp glycerin, and 1 Tbsp liquid soap.  Make bubble wands out of pipe cleaners.
  • Take the cardboard challenge and make something amazing (an arcade game, an airplane, a race car, a train with passenger cars, a rocket ship).
  • Find your pulse and count how many heartbeats you have in 15 seconds.  Run around or exercise and check your heart rate again. What did you notice?
  • Make a density column pouring honey, corn syrup (light), maple syrup, glycerin, dish soap, water, vegetable oil, rubbing alcohol in a glass jar and drop in different objects.  How do the densities compare?
  • Make a box guitar with an empty box and rubber bands.
  • Put an empty capped water bottle in the freezer for 15 minutes.  What happens and why?
  • Fill empty soda cans with pennies to represent the weight of a pop can on different planets:  
    • Mercury = 38 pennies (gravitational factor of .38) 
    • Venus = 101 pennies (gravitational factor of .91) 
    • Mars = 38 pennies (gravitational factor of  .38) 
    • Jupiter = 293 pennies (gravitational factor of 2.54) 
    • Saturn = 119 pennies (gravitational factor of 1.08) 
    • Uranus = 102 pennies (gravitational factor of .91)  
    • Neptune = 133 pennies (gravitational factor of 1.19) 
    • Pluto = 0 pennies (gravitational factor of .06) 
    • Moon = 12 pennies (gravitational factor of .17) 
  • Make a protective device for a dropped egg (drop from a step ladder outside of course).
  • Design and build a car that is propelled by a deflating balloon.
  • Use magnets to make a magnetic sculpture.
  • Design and build a tower out of 20 dry sticks of spaghetti, 1 meter of string, 1 meter of tape, and with a large marshmallow perched on top.
  • Design a system that keeps an ice cube from entirely melting for 3 hours.
  • Design and build a bridge out of straws or toothpicks that can span a distance of 12 inches.  How much weight can it hold?
  • Build a tower from toothpicks or straws that connect each corner with a mini marshmallow.  Place the tower on a pan of jello and jiggle it. Will your tower stay together?
  • Make a CD hovercraft by hot gluing a pierced pop top on a CD and placing a balloon around it.  Inflate the balloon. Can you get it to hover?
  • Design a car that runs off an unwinding rubber band.
  • Design a bobsled that can slide easily on a ramp that you make.
  • Make homemade slime (use a google search to find a recipe).
  • Design a chocolate bowl using melted chocolate, and dip small balloons sprayed with nonstick oil.  Let them dry on wax paper and then eat it with cut up strawberries and whipped cream.
  • Make a sculpture out of clay or Play Doh.
  • Make paper airplanes and have a contest for which plane design has the longest flight.

Social Studies

Other Ideas

​​​​​​​Other

 

  • Play hopscotch.
  • Inventory the plants & wildlife (from bugs on up) in your yard.
  • CADL/Delta Township/East Lansing Library of Things.
  • Have a board game tournament.
  • Cook or bake together. Read the recipe and measure ingredients. 
  • Go to the local park and play.  Even a nature park is a great place to go.  Let your kids play in the mud, look at trees, etc.
  • Make popcorn and watch a movie together. Ask questions about what is happening. 
  • Create a scavenger hunt (indoor and/or outdoor) and see how many things you can find.
  • Build a blanket fort.
  • Complete puzzles, dot-to-dot and crossword puzzles together.
  • Facetime or call grandparents, friends and relatives.
  • Fly a kite (available at the Dollar Store).
  • Have a glow stick party in the dark or bathtub (available at the Dollar Store).
  • Play iSpy with colors, sounds, (“something that starts with the /a/ sound”), or shapes.
  • Create art together. Paint, draw, reuse items to design something new. 
  • Geocaching 
  • Grab leaves or other outside things and make leaf imprints.
  • Learn magic tricks.
  • Learn to juggle, Cat’s Cradle or yoyo.
  • Wash toys, dolls, etc. in the sink.
  • Paint rocks, paper, etc.
  • Practice how to win and lose when playing games.
  • Do yoga together (cosmickids.com)
  • Play charades with different emotions.  Talk about what cues helped you decide on that emotion.
  • Use Kahoot for family trivia games (pre-made games or create your own).